The 45 interns in the 2014 Helios Scholars at TGen summer internship program graduated today, following a daylong scientific symposium at the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel.
Arizona’s future leaders in biology and medicine worked for eight weeks in one of the nation’s premier scientific internship programs, sponsored by the Helios Education Foundation in partnership with the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).
At today’s symposium, students presented scientific posters and oral presentations about their biomedical investigations, which were conducted under the one-on-one guidance and mentorship of TGen researchers. Like their mentors, Helios Scholars use cutting-edge technology to help discover the genetic causes of diseases such as diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, infectious disease and many types of cancer.
This is the eighth class of Helios Scholars at TGen, funded for 25 years by Helios Education Foundation. Helios is focused on creating opportunities for individuals to succeed in postsecondary education by advancing the academic preparedness of all students and fostering a high-expectations, college-going culture in Arizona and Florida.
“TGen’s summer intern program enables students to learn first-hand what it is like to work in a professional scientific environment, and helps them discover the skills they will need to make important contributions in science and medicine,” said Helios Education Foundation President and CEO Paul Luna. “The Helios Scholars at TGen program is helping prepare students for further academic success and for meaningful careers that not only benefit them, but will improve people’s lives through breakthrough medical and scientific research.”
The program is open to Arizona high school, undergraduate and graduate level students, including those in medical school.
“Our partnership with the Helios Education Foundation helps prepare a new generation of biomedical investigators for Arizona,” said Dr. Jeffrey Trent, TGen’s President and Research Director. “As we help them explore the biosciences beyond the classroom, TGen provides them with opportunities to participate in potentially life-changing research that can benefit actual patients.”
Helios Scholars also participate in professional development programs in science communication, public speaking, and basic business etiquette. This year’s interns were selected from among more than 500 applications.
“Our students arrive here with a passion for science and medicine,” said Julie Euber, TGen’s Education and Outreach Specialist and supervisor of the Helios Scholars at TGen. “Participating in authentic research projects helps shape their skills and abilities, preparing them for a lifetime of discovery and achievement in the biosciences.”
The program application opens in January of each year for the following summer at www.tgen.org/intern.